January 3rd – The Epiphany of the Lord

My Dear Friends,

Happy New Year! I don’t think we have ever started a new year with so much hope in our hearts: hope that some sense of normalcy will return in 2021, hope that this pandemic will soon be relegated to the history books, and hope that this new year will bring us back to the full ministerial life that we are used to from our Church.

Today we celebrate the Epiphany of the Lord. Like the Magi, with hope in our hearts, we seek out the newborn King. I remember a few weeks ago, we were so excited to see the Christmas Star on the day of the winter solstice. I love all things astronomy and love to look up to the night sky when I’m away from the city to behold the majesty of a sky full of stars. There’s a sense of wonder when we behold God’s creation which is what the Magi felt. Today we follow that Christmas Star that leads us to Jesus. We are filled with joy like the Magi when we see the star at its rising. We seek out Hope personified in Jesus who walked with us through the rough waters of last year and now takes us by the hand to lead us to what we hope to be calm waters this year.

So as the first reading from Isaiah tells us this day: “Rise up! Your light has come!” We rejoice that the light of Christ has entered the darkness of this world, and we rejoice that this wonderous light shines so beautifully in our Church. My prayer for this new year is that the Church will indeed rise up to meet every challenge it faces and continue to rescue souls for Christ. We spend so much time on resolutions which are all well and good, but every single day our Lord through the Scriptures calls us to renewal, to start over, to return to him. In the spiritual life, conversion, is a daily routine not a one-time occurrence. This is why I want to start the new year with a 40-Hour Eucharistic Devotion this coming Thursday and Friday, January 7-8. The Blessed Sacrament will be exposed for forty hours straight of prayer to consecrate this year to the Eucharistic Lord. More information on hot to sign up in on page 8 of this bulletin.

It is indeed only right to give thanks for the gift of a new year and all the promise it brings, but we should treat each new day with the same hope and excitement that we have when the clock strikes Midnight on New Year’s Eve. We thank the Lord for bringing us to this moment, and with the Magi we are filled with joy at the hope the Christmas Star brings and go in haste to do homage to our newborn King. Every newborn child brings hope to a family. The Christ Child brings hope to the entire world at the dawn of a new year.

God bless you all,